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Where to Buy Masks in Wichita (Child & Adult Sizes)

Masks have quickly become the staple fashion item of 2020. It’s not uncommon to be out and about and hear “Your mask is so cute! Where did you get it?” Who’d have ever dreamed this would come to be common talk in our society today?!

If you’re looking to purchase masks locally, below is a compiled list of places you can find them in Wichita! And do tell…where have you found them locally?

**Many of the vendors listed are recent Facebook groups created due to the pandemic, so they are not stores you can walk into.  Most vendors prefer contacting them via Facebook messenger or calling the phone number provided. 

Things to Do in Wichita | JULY 2020


Things to Do in Wichita this Month – July 2020

No matter the season, there are always fun things to in Wichita with kids (and without!). Welcome to Wichita’s best-kept and up-to-date event listing!

July is hot, hot, hot! Cool off at a local pool, one of the area’s splash pads, or with some tasty ice cream for the kids or iced coffee for Mama!

We are thrilled to bring this resource in collaboration with one of our favorite community partners: Botanica! To make planning easy, we are excited to highlight their July events below:

Botanica

Downing Children’s Garden Reopening

July 1-3. Botanica’s Downing Children’s Garden opens July 1 at 9am. From July 1 through July 3, they will have some special treats to help celebrate re-opening the Downing Children’s Garden. Visit Botanica’s Facebook page for a full list of activities.

Tuesdays on the Terrace

Tuesdays, July 7 – Sept 29, 6-8pm. $5 members, $10 non-members.Relax and unwind every Tuesday night throughout the summer. Tuesdays on the Terrace at Botanica is a summertime treat for all ages. BYO food & drink for the safety of guests – pack a cooler, dinner or snacks and come enjoy live music outside on the terrace. Please practice social distancing and follow guidelines posted in the garden. All tickets are reservation only, in advance.

Breakfast and Butterfly Release

July 8 and 22, 9am. $15 members, $17 non-members. Get the hands-on experience of releasing a live butterfly in Botanica’s Cox Butterfly House then enjoy breakfast provided by Stearman Field Bar & Grill. They will be serving a pancake breakfast made onsite, sausage and juice. Guests will also receive koi food for you to feed the fish in one of the ponds.

Fairy Tea Party 

July 25, First Seating: 10:00am – 11:30pm, Second Seating 11:30am – 1:00pm, Performance 11:30am – 12:00pm. $40 child, $10 adult. Join Botanica for their rescheduled Fairy Tea Party! You won’t want to miss this tea party and a special performance by Ballet of Wichita! Each child will receive his or her own fairy wings when they take a seat at a lovely tea party table. There will be lemonade and water along with mini sandwiches and other treats provided by Blue Moon Caterers. After the tea the kids are welcome to visit with different fairy tale characters from Storybook Wichita and explore different craft stations. 

More Botanica Events

Taste This: Bee Tour and Honey Tasting

July 18, 10am – 11:30am. $20/person. Enjoy a delicious honey tasting experience, followed by a short tour of the Alexander Bee House. Learn to appreciate the taste nuances of honey through a tasting flight of 4-5 honeys with food pairings and a floral themed beverage.

Yoga in the Gardens

July 9, 16, 23, 30, 6:30-7:30pm. ALL Levels welcome: Ages 16 years and above. Meet at Botanica for Yoga in the Gardens! Stretch, breathe, focus, and relax while surrounded by the beautiful sites and calming sounds of nature. This all-levels class will work to combine grounding and balancing poses with gentle strengthening and proper alignment to bring students an energetic, yet relaxing practice from Wichita’s signature gardens.

Nature Journaling

July 13, 20, 27, 8:30-10am. Explore, discover and connect to the natural world through nature journaling at Botanica! You’ll spend time both indoors and outdoors observing and journaling. You will receive a beautiful Botanica “sling bag”, to keep your journaling supplies. The journey begins with nature, a pencil, a page, and YOU!

Garden Story Time

Bring your picnic blanket and your little ones out for Storytime in the gardens! Every Thursday at 10:30 am we will gather outside for our favorite stories, rhymes and movements in the fresh air and sunshine. Bring snacks or a picnic lunch to make a full morning of garden fun! Included with admission or membership.

Lunchtime Lectures

Join us during our Lunchtime Lectures every Wednesday from 12:15-1pm! Lunch will be served from 11am-12:15pm for only $8.

>>Click HERE for a list of all Botanica events in July<<

Things to Do in Wichita | July 2020 

July 1, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 3, 2020

July 4, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 7, 2020

10:00 am Naturally Crafty

July 8, 2020

10:30 am Teen Bad Art

July 9, 2020

July 10, 2020

July 11, 2020

July 13, 2020

July 14, 2020

10:00 am Naturally Crafty

July 15, 2020

July 16, 2020

July 17, 2020

July 18, 2020

July 20, 2020

July 21, 2020

10:00 am Naturally Crafty

July 22, 2020

July 23, 2020

July 24, 2020

July 25, 2020

July 27, 2020

July 28, 2020

10:00 am Naturally Crafty

July 30, 2020

July 31, 2020

More events will be added as the month goes on – check back soon!

If you have an event to add, you can do that here.


Wichita Mom Community Group Meet-Ups in July 2020

Wichita Mom Community Groups are having all kids of activities in your neighborhood and connecting online to share recommendations and advice. Click here to join your Community Group, and see below for what’s going on near you this month.
 
West Wichita/Maize/Goddard Group is meeting at OrangeTheory Fitness on July 25. 

Regularly Scheduled Programming

Many local places have recurring events that are great for moms and families, and you can find them here: 

  • Aviate has Junior Jump Monday through Friday for the younger crowd.
  • Botanica has a Garden Storytime every Thursday morning, in the Children’s Library or weather permitting in the gardens. 
  • Sensory Friendly play at Exploration Place on the second Sunday of every month
  • Urban Air has Jumparoo Toddler Jump every Tuesday and Friday.
  • Home Depot has a free Kids’ DIY workshop on the first Saturday of every month.
  • Family Night at Museum of World Treasures is the first Thursday of the month.
  • Every Friday the Kansas Aviation Museum has a special ticket price for families.
  • Make ICT has free access to their makerspace every other Monday.
  • Kansas Children’s Service League has a support group for Parents of Special Needs Children on the third Monday of every month. 
  • Moxi Junction hosts story and craft time every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30am.

Other Resources for Things to Do with Kids in Wichita

Top 10 Things for Wichita Kids & Parents to Do in ICT

Fun Stuff to Do in West Wichita 

Where Kids Eat Cheap or Free in Wichita

Guide to Wichita: Everything You Need to Know


Please Note :: While we make every effort to crosscheck current links and event details on our guides, we always encourage you to do the same before making final plans. If details are missing or incorrect, please let us know so that we can make every attempt to correct them.

How to Host A Hamilton Watch Party (with Free Printable Hamilton BINGO Card!)

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Lin Manuel Miranda has given 2020 the biggest gift he could: sending his Broadway hit musical, Hamilton, to the masses in movie form an entire year early. Disney+ will release the filmed production starring the original cast at 2 a.m. Central Standard Time on July 3rd.  Planning a Hamilton watch party? Here are a few things to know and ways to celebrate!

How to Host a Hamilton Watch Party

 

Where & How to Watch Hamilton

This article tells all you need to know for the technical part of a watch party if you don’t already have Disney+. 

Choose your viewing audience

Hamilton meets all the guidelines for a PG-13 Rating on Disney+, but parents should be aware of themes before watching.  Miranda speaks here about the rating and how it came to work out while still having a language and some more mature content. Common Sense Media will have its full recommendations up on July 3rd to guide parents here

Download the Hamilton App

While you are social distancing and watching one of the best musicals ever, you’re going to want quote and character Hamilton stickers to text the other Hamilfans in your life.  

Hamilton Trivia Games

Are you satisfied with your  lyrical, character, and random tidbits knowledge?  Battle with this lyrics quiz, prove you’re a super fan, or drop some knowledge about Alexander Hamilton here

Hamilton Karaoke or Lip-Sync Battle

Use the Hamilton App or find the lyric videos on YouTube to have an epic battle of lyrics.  Miranda’s word genius makes a lyrical thrown-down a must for any Hamilton celebration!  

Serve some Hamilfood

No viewing party is complete without some serious noshing. Rename common foods with quotes or characters like, A.Ham Quiches, Talk Less, Smile S’mores or 3 Fundamental Fruits at the Exact Same Time. Check out this thread that has some super creative ideas. 

Play Hamilton Blackout Bingo

Don’t throw away your shot! Print this HAMILTON BLACKOUT BINGO card, do the activities, and name the character speaking as your hear the quotes!

How are YOU watching the movie debut?

8 Great Places to Go Camping with Kids Near Wichita

Our family loves a good camping trip. While we have our favorite spot (like literally a favorite site, not just a favorite campground), we do like exploring more of what this area has to offer. With younger kids, we like being within an hour or so of home so the car trip isn’t completely overwhelming.

While some locations have walk-up spots, if you are going on a holiday weekend, you’ll definitely want to reserve a spot far in advance or risk not having a place to camp! If you aren’t the sleep-outdoors type, check into day passes to enjoy all these beautiful locations have to offer and then head home to your air-conditioned, bug-free home. 

Here is a great list of campgrounds near Wichita: 

Fall River

This one is our favorite. There are bathrooms, a playground, RV sites and even cabins for the less adventurous. Tent camping near the water is beautiful and the kids love climbing on the rocks and fishing. 

Cheney State Park

Lots of campsites, easy access to the lake for water activities, “beaches” to play on, and, if you live west, this one isn’t far at all!

Kanopolis State Park

Sandy beach plus caves equals tons of fun. This one is closer to two hours away, but is often recommended!

Elk City State Park

Beautiful hikes and rock formations – it doesn’t even feel like you are in Kansas!

Harvey County Lake

Tons of places to fish, and lots of easily accessible camping sites. 

Lake Afton Park

RV and tent spots, access to the water for boating, plus the observatory is very close!

Santa Fe Lake

The swimming beach and paddleboats offer something fun for everyone!

Perry State Park

Horse trails, camping, boating… what more could you ask for?

5 Fun Family Ideas for the 4th of July

The 4th of July always sneaks up on us. School gets out, we get in our summer routine, and then BAM! it’s already time for fireworks. We drove past a fireworks tent being set up this week and my four-year-olds shrieked with glee. Immediately upon returning home my older son counted his hard-earned chore cash to see what he wanted to budget for explosives. While the fireworks are definitely a family favorite of ours, the 4th always brings so much more than just the nighttime explosions. Sadly, with social distancing being so important right now, the 4th might look a little different this year.

To keep things festive, and no less entertaining, I’ve created a compilation of some fun family ideas you can do that will be sure to create some fantastic memories together. 

  1. Summer treats. Never underestimate the power of family time and summer foods. For our family, the 4th means family time, togetherness, and food.  We prepare summer foods that kind of signify this particular holiday to all of us. A few of our 4th of July favorites include Jello cake, watermelon, and homemade ice cream. We get out the blender and make Orange Julius and Root Beer floats. All the fun summer foods get to make their big debut on 4th of July. We prepare them together as a family and that makes the preparation just as enjoyable as the consumption. 

2. A Family Art Project. This is the time of year I like to break out my hefty supply of sidewalk chalk so our whole family can sit around on the driveway and utilize the creative parts of our brains together. Last year our neighbors would walk by and comment how they looked forward to our “mural” driveway each 4th of July. Here we were making memories together as a family and never even realized that we were contributing to our neighborhood as well! The fun part of this is it doesn’t matter if you’re three years old or fifty years old – you can still sit in the driveway and color. 

3. Family backyard campout. I love my bed and get a little emotional over even one night elsewhere. However, the joy in my kids faces when they hear we are camping out in the backyard is more than worth the restless night of sleep. You can make your backyard campout simple by just sleeping on the deck or the patio, or you can go all out with a fire pit, a tent, and late night ghost stories. Our dog always joins us for our backyard campout and I’m pretty sure he enjoys it just as much as the rest of us. 

4. Water fun. It’s July so it’s dang hot outside. I wouldn’t survive hot Kansas summers without some waterworks on a daily basis. An annual favorite past time of ours is a big old fashioned water balloon fight. We never know when it will start, or who will start it, but not one single 4th of July has passed that we didn’t get completely drenched with our family water balloon war. We like to keep hidden water guns stashed around the yard and deck  for a water emergency when we are caught off guard with no water balloons nearby. 

5. Homemade decorations. What is a holiday without decorations? We love to bring out the red, white, and blue this time of year. A few cheap rolls of crepe paper and some construction paper go a long way for little kids excited to help celebrate. We let them decorate their bikes, the deck, our front porch and anything else they think needs a patriotic flair. You can purchase tiny little American flags at any party store this time of year also. The kids love to stick these in plants and out of their bicycle handles to really rev things up. 

Here’s to everyone having a safe, happy, and healthy 4th of July. Enjoy your friends and family. Cheers!

 

 

 

4th of July in Wichita :: Fireworks, Parades & More

Are you ready for some red, white and blue? Even though the city of Wichita has cancelled our annual activities, there are still lots of 4th of July parades & fireworks displays in the surrounding areas! 

Augusta

City of Augusta Fireworks Display

The show starts just after sunset!

Bel Aire

40th for the 4th 

Music, corn hole, sno cones and fireworks!

Derby

Independence Day Parade 

Parade Route: Begins at Panther Stadium (just east of Madison Ave. and Woodlawn Blvd.), proceeds west on Madison to Georgie, south on Georgie to Market, east on Market back to the middle school.
View the parade route map

Fireworks in the Park

July 4 at 7 p.m. (Fireworks begin at approx. 9:30 p.m.)

Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy a fun evening in Derby at High Park. You are welcome to bring a picnic dinner. 

  • Social distancing will be in effect. Arrive early to get your spot. Parking capacity will be limited compared to prior events due to social distancing needs in the park. Gates will close when park capacity is reached.
  • There will not be food trucks at the event. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • ADA parking will be available at the Darrell Zimmerman Family Shelter parking lot.
  • No personal fireworks allowed in the park.
  • Questions? Call Public Works at 788-0301 or email [email protected]

El Dorado

4th of July Celebration

Games, fire trucks, frozen custard, fireworks & more!

Garden Plain

Independence Day Celebration

A full day of events starting with a community breakfast and 5k! Horshoes, turtle races, and a parade follow, with fireworks ending the celebration at 10pm.

Goddard

Goddard Fireworks Show

The show starts at 10pm and is designed to be viewed from anywhere in town!

Haysville

4th of July Celebration

Parade, games, car show, fireworks & more!

Mulvane

Parade & Ice Cream Social

Parade starts at noon, and the ice cream social follows immediately after in the park!

Newton

5K Race :: Centennial Park, July 4th

Grab your running shoes and participate in the annual Headin’ for Home 5K. The 5K will start at 7:30 a.m.


Make sure you never miss out on things to do in Wichita: subscribe to our weekly Wichita Moms Blog newsletter! Be the first to know about our exclusive events, special offers and discounts, neighborhood group activities and, of course, local resources and parenting voices powered by local Wichita moms!

 

Storytime Village: Improving and Promoting Literacy for Wichita Children

I founded Storytime Village, a Kansas-based children’s literacy nonprofit, on the premise that reading is a right for every child. I feel strongly that not only is reading a right, but it is also a catalyst to freedom. Without the ability to read, many children find themselves in shackles that bind them to a future that may include, high dropout rates, raised likelihoods of incarceration, and overall bleaker futures.

Often, children have these future paths mapped out for them from very early ages. Students who are not proficient readers when they begin fourth grade are statistically shown to continue to struggle in school and find themselves overwhelmed by their low literacy levels. According to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores, Black students scored on average 27 points lower than their White peers. And this is why it’s so important to discuss equity in children’s literacy—to reach the populations of students who most need the resources.

Each summer, I have the opportunity to watch a group of eight to ten-year-old students flourish in their love of reading and writing through the Storytime Village LEAP camp. LEAP is a rigorous summer program that empowers students to practice their writing and literacy skills in order to write and publish their own children’s books. The students that participate in the program vary in their reading proficiency. Some are great readers that leave the program with new skills. But there are also some students who come to us as struggling readers. One of our students at last year’s summer camp was one of these struggling readers. She had a rough early life that didn’t allow much time for gaining core reading skills. Her mother had been incarcerated and after the student was taken from her home and placed with new caretakers, she had to adjust to a new life, a new family, and struggled to read. Her story is painfully familiar for over 80 percent of the nation’s Black 4th graders, who did not score proficient or above in reading last year.

At the beginning of camp, this student could sit down and tell stories to our instructors for hours, but she couldn’t put her thoughts to the page. This left her frustrated and doing anything she could to distract from the fact that she was struggling to read and write. “Once you learn to read, you’ll forever be free,” were the words of Frederick Douglass, who taught himself to read during a time when reading was illegal for Blacks. He escaped slavery with the knowledge that his education was the key to his freedom, and he later went on to become a great abolitionist leader, author, orator, and statesman. Our world might look different today, but 125 years after Fredrick Douglass’ death, Black children still lack the freedom that comes with the ability to read. While the nation grapples with the recent events that have shined a spotlight on police brutality and racial injustice, America must understand the systematic inequities, including structural racism, that impact the literacy education for so many students of color.

This literacy issue is not just a national issue. It is a Kansas issue. Currently, 83 percent of 4th-grade African American students in Kansas are not proficient in reading. Many Kansans have come to accept the reading scores as a reality for Black students because they have been so low for so long, and efforts to raise them have been so fruitless.

However, we don’t have to accept the state of literacy in our nation and state.

We must not accept it.

We all can play a part in improving racial equity in literacy. One of the ways to do that is to join with organizations like Storytime Village that work to move the needle for under-served children. It is Storytime Village’s goal to change the narrative for these students who are impacted by intergenerational poverty and inadequate resources. For example: the struggling reader from our LEAP summer camp. Her story didn’t end as a statistic. After participating in Storytime Village’s program, I received a report from her family that her reading scores dramatically improved. When she went back to school, her teachers were also impressed with her improvement. But more important than impressing family members and teachers, this student now has the keys to a life of freedom. Just as Fredrick Douglass stated, now that she can read, she “will forever be free!”

To learn more about Storytime Village, Inc., and to help us as we continue to fight for equity in children’s literacy, visit www.storytimevillage.org.


Prisca Barnes is a dedicated leader and a proud native of Wichita, KS. She is a passionate advocate for equity in education, social justice, and the importance of literacy to further the economic competitiveness of her local community. Prisca is a children’s book author and founder of Storytime Village, Inc., a nonprofit organization with a mission to serve low-income Kansas children and families. Since its beginning in 2009, Storytime Village has worked to help underserved children thrive through partnerships that inspire a lifelong love of reading.

She Means Business 2020: Black & Minority Business Owners

With a mission to support women and community, Wichita Mom is excited to launch the She Means Business Series for a second year in a row in partnership with Martin Pringle Attorneys at Law. 

The purpose of this series is to feature Wichita women who deserve recognition for their inspiring work in the ICT community. In this third and final installment, we are thrilled to feature Black and Minority business owners. Read about the She Means Business Honorees we have featured previously here, and be sure to check out Create Campaign’s Black and Minority Owned Business Directory here.  

We hope you join us as we get to know some of Wichita’s women who mean business. 

Sashia Beard
The Princess In Me Kids Spa

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. The Princess in Me Kids Spa is a mobile spa service that brings the magical spa experience to your little one! We host birthday parties, graduation parties, Girl Scout celebrations, etc. Inspired by the diagnosis of my autistic cousin I wanted to create an accessible pampering service to provide to young girls at the convenience of their home. Our Princess team provides your little one with all of their pampering needs, from rose petal pedicures, manicures, facials, and so much more! Our mission is to empower young girls, teach them the importance of self-love, help them channel their inner royal and inspire them to always see the beauty in themselves.

Read More Here

What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? The biggest challenge to date as a business owner for me is being a new business owner. Seeking ways to grow my business and not only reach our target market, but also building a relationship with our community. I’ve learned that most people are afraid to try a new business not knowing what to expect. So as new business owners we have to build that trust and break those barriers. The Princess in Me Kids Spa has been able to adapt to this challenges by being more active within the community, participating in more small business workshops, and networking with other small businesses. We are all in this together!

How can Wichita support you right now? We are humbly grateful for the continuous love and support from our community and small business family. If you haven’t already please subscribe to our website to stay up to date on our exclusive promotions and offers: www.theprincessinmekidsspa.com. You can also follow @ThePrincessinMeKidsSpa on our social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Like, Share, Comment, or leave us feedback on our social media posts, it helps us provide your little one with the best spa experience!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? Sadly the unforeseen challenges of COVID-19 has pivoted our nation and businesses in so many ways. On the bright side we have learned that the strength of our community has grown tremendously. Our community has really stepped up to not only support our business but other small businesses as well. During the last several months, our Princess Team was able to stay connected with our little princesses virtually and keep them inspired during uncertain times. We’ve learned that despite the challenges you may face, continue to have faith and try to see the positive in every situation.

What makes your business special or unique? What makes the Princess in Me Kids Spa unique is we bring the glam to you. Our team creates a magical, fun-filled spa atmosphere to our little princesses in the comfort of their own home.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! The best way to reach us is to visit our website www.theprincessinmekidsspa.com or email us at [email protected]

Anna-Marie Ortiz & Nousette Jefferson
The Little Shop

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. The Little Shop is an urban plant pop up shop in Wichita, Kansas. The idea for The Little Shop grew out of our love for plants. We love the way we feel when we find a plant we’ve been looking for and how good we feel when we find good deals on super cute pots. So we decided to become a plant shop we would want to stumble upon. One that is like having a Secret Plant Bestie. One that is super cute, trendy, relatable and informative. We really wanted to take the time to hone in on the plant shopping experience and the way our customers feel when they buy a plant from us. We want to help our customers find the plant of their dreams. The Little Shop is your plant bestie. We are always there to answer any questions you have about your new plant babes and will always be your personal hype-ladies when you discover new growth.

Read More Here

What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? We made our official announcement to open The Little Shop at the beginning of March. So we’re really only in our first few months of business. The biggest challenge to date has been adapting to growth. In the past few months, we’ve grown and learned so much. We are constantly adding new ideas to the mix because of growing demand and inquiries we receive. We’ve really had to start and grow our business under not so ideal circumstances but it has really challenged us in a positive way.

How can Wichita support you right now? The best way Wichita can support us is just by following us on all of our social media. That’s where we interact with the community to find out where they want to see us pop up next, what plants they are looking for, etc. Also our favorite thing to tell people about local businesses is to “Tell a friend!” Word of mouth is so powerful and the more people that know about local business they can support, the better.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? We have definitely felt the love and support from our community during these strange and challenging times and we are forever grateful for that. Covid-19 has really forced us to grow quicker than we had anticipated as a new business but we are constantly telling each other if we make it through this we can make it through anything.

What makes your business special or unique? What makes us unique is that we are a pop up shop. We don’t have a store front location. During COVID-19 we have transitioned to mainly doing sales through our website and delivering plants straight to our customers porch. We also offer plant care advise as well as styling inspo.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! The best way to purchase our products and/or services is through our website www.thelittleshopict.com. The best way to reach us is at our email which is [email protected]

Nicole Williams
Ncredibly Sweet

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Ncredibly Sweet was launched shortly after my youngest son was diagnosed with Autism nearly four years ago. It began as an outlet to express myself through stressful moments and eventually blossomed into a passionate hobby. I operate Ncredibly Sweet, my home-based bakery, specializing in decadent gourmet and chocolate covered strawberries, and catering a wide variety of baked goods that includes cupcakes, gourmet caramel popcorn, gourmet cookies and mini bundt cakes just to name a few. I offer services to customers and corporations for celebratory occasions and holidays throughout the year. My slogan is Thee Experience of Ncredible Edible Gourmet Sweet Treats.

Read More Here

What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? Baking and running a business from home has its challenges especially when your time has to be distributed among family. I’ve had to learn to balance between the two which was not an easy task especially when my children were younger. I adapted to early morning prepping and late nights baking. Finding creative ways to incorporate family time lead me to include them in on the work by giving them tasks to complete such as labeling or packing and occasionally my little taste testers they refer to it as quality control.

How can Wichita support you right now? I am thankful that the community has been supportive. You can continually support by following any of my social media platforms, by placing an order or leaving a review. Customers that leave review helps me tremendously too. Recommendations are always a support as well.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? Over the past few months inquiries and sales have increased, my social media insights are showing more engaging presence amid COVID-19 primarily because people are spending more time on the Internet. When the children were still in school, I had to juggle at home learning and baking. I often found myself up earlier and baking later to offset the time spent with getting my boys through virtual learning. As I mentioned, the increased time at home has benefited me through the increased use of social media and the desire for more carryout orders.

What makes your business special or unique? My passion of dipping chocolate covered strawberries created an obsession of baking delicious desserts with love straight from my heart and my kitchen. I am a self taught baker and my desire to bake became a constant thought and any opportunity I had to practice and learn, I seized the moment to do so. My strawberries are specially designed and customized with precise attention to detail. The gourmet toppings are unique in the flavors I select propelling them into gourmet delicacies.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! I can be reached exclusively on my Facebook business page at NCredibly Sweet and on Instagram at ncredibly_sweet. I can also be contacted by phone at 316-252-7572 or email at [email protected]

Khloe Hines
Hungry Bunny Virtual Donut Shop

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Birthed out of the pandemic, Hungry Bunny is a virtual donut shop located in Derby, KS. Each donut is baked in our home with love, and premium ingredients. No dairy, no eggs, and no harmful animal tested ingredients. Are donuts are cruelty-free. This business used to be a piece a paper, and over just a little under 5 months Hungry Bunny has touched so many individuals. From Oregon, to Florida our donuts have been shipped nationwide. We have been featured in Forbes, Local news, and hand picked as one of the small black-owned businesses on Beyoncé’s website.

Read More Here

What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? Time management- sometimes I make it look easy, but I’m really mentally at battle with what I should be doing. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed by being over productive, so I need to balance “treating myself” more. Self care is important! Mama needs time too.

How can Wichita support you right now? By liking, sharing, and of course buying some of the deliciousness! Even if you do not like donuts Hungry Bunny has t shirts, coozies, and stickers that anyone can purchase. If you cannot be close to someone during these times, a great way to surprise them is with a donut delivery right to their front door.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? Everything has been so positive during these peculiar worldly times…. it’s kinda weird to say! Although it’s been a lot of darkness coming to the light, I cannot even deal with how unexpectedly busy I have been! I originally was just doing this to keep busy, and establish a side business. Once I was terminated from my 9-5 I had to make this my full time. I’ve had so much free time to perfect my recipe. Being at home, and the world being on hold really helped the business blossom.

What makes your business special or unique? A lot of us like myself are still taking precautions to keep ourselves healthy, and our families by quarantining. I know Wichita has fully opened the city with minimal restrictions, and my heart tells me to continue social distancing, and minimal outings. Because of this I went the virtual route. Even before the pandemic I loved all times spent at home, and anything being confidently delivered to me is always a win. We are a virtual donut shop without a store front. This business used to be a piece of paper, and in just a little under 5 months Hungry Bunny has touched so many individuals. 300 dozen of donuts have been pumped out of my 1 oven! From Oregon, to Florida our donuts have been shipped nationwide. We have been featured in Forbes, local news, and hand picked as one of the small black-owned businesses on Beyoncé’s website. 

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! Our website is currently loading, and should be launching very soon! We currently take all orders through our Facebook page: Hungry Bunny Virtual Donut Shop or our instagram: @huungrybunny come say hi! if you want to collaborate, book me, or inquire about an event you can email us at [email protected]

Kianga Crowley
Simply A Lady Co.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Not quite prim, but she’s definitely proper! As the owner of Simply a Lady Co. Kianga firmly believes respect and kindness belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society. More than an etiquette & lifestyle expert, she is pushing a movement to improve the way leaders are emotionally developed, how to level up customer service and lifestyle skills as well as bring a sense of cultural awareness back to the forefront of our daily interactions. Simply A Lady Co. is consistently recognized in Wichita, Kansas for its unconventional workshops, over the top tea parties and self-less community service.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? Like most entrepreneurs, staying financially afloat can be daunting at times. It has been a learning experience figuring out how to market my services and make sure they are quality yet affordable. I’ve made the mistakes of both overpricing and underpricing. I’ve also made the mistake of relying solely on a plan A & B. But when unforeseen external influences impacted my ability to physically interact with clients, I had to adapt by coming up with a creative options such as virtual interaction.

How can Wichita support you right now? There are several ways to support Simply A Lady Co. and here are just a few: You may engage with me through my journey of learning and teaching on Simply A Lady Co’s Instagram and Facebook or book and attend a private, group, virtual or in-person workshop. You may also show your support for all future Simply A Lady Co. events and workshops by continuing to share our message and mission with everyone.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? When you look at the entire first quarter of 2020 from a historical standpoint, it has been both exciting and terrifying. We are witnessing our children become the new story tellers, the leaders and the writers of this new chapter. The way in which we interacted professionally and personally has shifted. Six months ago, I was teaching the proper way to greet and shake hands. Not too soft, not too hard, but a nice firm shake no more than 3 pumps. Now, it’s all about the air fives, elbow bumps, feet kicks and 6 feet distance air kisses. I’ve used this peculiar time to research and observe the new forms of protocol being written daily. From shopping etiquette to video conferencing etiquette, the rules are no longer the same. Despite these unforeseen changes, some things will never change. Kindness, courtesy and respect for one another will always be the basis of any and all rules.

What makes your business special or unique? Although kindness is a defining aspect of civilized human life, cultural competency and respect for others has become an elusive skill set to much of the general public. After realizing only a select few were provided opportunities that invested in cultural, professional and personal growth, I’ve developed an enjoyable, affordable, accessible learning experience to enhance their lifestyles that can be applied locally or internationally in our ever-evolving world.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! For inquiries or etiquette questions, contact Kianga via email at [email protected]

L’Oreal Benitez
Benitez Counseling

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. I am a Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor. I provide therapy services and specialize in the treatment of trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, perinatal mood disorders (including infertility, infant loss, postpartum depression) and substance use disorders. I have been practicing for over 10 years now and I love every minute of the work I do!

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? My biggest challenge as a business owner is work/personal life balance. I love the perks of making my own schedule but I had to learn how to put work away once I leave the office. An adaptation I have made to help with this is not seeing clients on Fridays. I call Fridays my “Admin Day.” During this time I catch up on notes, make phone calls, ensure all of the needs of my clients are addressed, and complete other miscellaneous business tasks.

How can Wichita support you right now? Seek mental health treatment if needed and support mental health awareness. Check in with your loved ones. Ask family, friends, and coworkers how they’re doing and really listen to the answers. Encourage kind language. People previously diagnosed with a mental health condition are more likely to feel psychological distress. Those with preexisting depression, anxiety, substance use or eating disorders are likely heavily triggered in the current climate.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? Covid-19 has made a huge impact in my practice. I quickly had to learn how to utilize and I began using teletherapy for the first time. Shortly after transitioning to teletherapy my caseload increased with new clients needing services. Covid-19 has made a significant impact on the mental health of people around the world. In addition, I started supervising student therapists at a local University in the midst of the pandemic. The past few months had its challenges but overall, I am proud of how the mental health community in Wichita has supported each other.

What makes your business special or unique? I am trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) which can be helpful to reduce emotional distress in trauma related disorders. At Benitez Counseling, clients have a unique access to a multidisciplinary team of providers located in the Sedgwick County area called the Eating Disorder Consultants of Kansas. When needed, coordination of care is quickly achieved through this access for medical evaluations, risk assessments, nutritional services, and close communication with the team to ensure medical safety and stability while in outpatient care.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! You can reach me at www.benitezcounseling.com. You can also find and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn at Benitez Counseling.

Melody McCray-Miller
Miller’s Inc.

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Miller’s Inc. houses the signature premium food company along with the business and health disparities consulting. Larry and Melody Miller worked hard to develop the unique flavor in their famous Bar-B-Que Baked Beans. The delicious baked bean recipe helped make Miller’s one of the most popular Bar-B-Que restaurants in Wichita, Kansas. The Bar-B-Que Beans with Beef, boasting of a rich combination of beef, beans, spices and a special barbecue sauce quickly became a restaurant favorite. This framed our decision to market the baked beans to both retail and wholesale markets. Dillon’s became our first market with sales growing to include distribution in the Kroger grocer chain, Food City and Sysco and US FoodService. We are celebrating 20+ years in the retail market.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? There are two challenges with the first being access to capital to open our restaurant which is where the signature premium products, our legacy business, would launch. We resolved this challenge by working with the Small Business Administration, SBA and acquiring a SBA Guarenteed loan. We also used personal savings to invest in our business venture. The second challenge was to develop the baked bean products for marketing and find and successfully secure a co-manufacturing company and contract with them to manufacture the products according to my specifications. To remedy this challenge I secured the guidance and assistance from Kansas State University to help with the development of the product and I contracted with 3 different co-manufaturers.

How can Wichita support you right now? Sharing the Miller Inc. story across different sectors of our community will increase our presence and potentially increase our sales.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? The Covid-19 pandemic has showed the nation that we are resilient individually and collectively. I experienced a reduction in purchases for the months of March and April. I continue to be optimistic about the remaining months in 2020.

What makes your business special or unique? It’s rare for a food product to maintain its market share for more that 5 years. Our brand initially grew primarily by word of mouth which is as organic as you can get. Word of mouth is also one of the best type of advertisement. As a business we pride ourselves in listening to our customers and being responsive.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! email: [email protected] beans.com, website: millersfamousbakedbeans.com. Our products can be purchased at most Dillons in the Deli. Miller’s Beans with Beef and Miller’s Bold & Spicy Bar-B-Que Baked Beans Call: 316-734-876. 

Telecia Lyons
Emerge Skin & Body Spa

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Emerge Skin & Body Spa is a practice for Esthetic, Massage and Bodywork. I am the solo Esthetician and Massage Therapist so each service is customized and delivered by me with the exception of Couples Massage. Each spa service is rendered in a private one-on-one setting on the beautiful golf course at Terradyne Country Club in Andover, Kansas. I offer an array of skincare treatments formulated to transform and correct common skin conditions with a relaxing soothing touch. My current offerings for Esthetics includes: Facials, Dermaplane, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, Body Scrubs and Hair Removal. On the Massage spectrum I offer: Swedish, Specialty, and Hot Stone Massage.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? My biggest challenge as a business owner has been finding a happy balance between family, entrepreneurship, and personal time. It’s easy to become accustomed to the busyness and persistent state of pressing through a day of shuffling kids to school, appointments, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, emails, social media etc. Before you know it you’re running on fumes and eating lunch in the car daily! This lifestyle wreaks havoc on your body, your mental health and overall can reduce your quality of life. I often remind myself to practice what I preach! Take a break and take them often. It’s okay to do something pleasurable for yourself or to actually do nothing at all.

How can Wichita support you right now? I am 6 months away from celebrating my 2nd anniversary at Emerge Skin & Body Spa and I truly feel blessed to have made it this far. I attribute my success to everyone that has sowed a seed in my small business in a array of support and I hope it continues to thrive. So far the best support I’ve received has been: Book & receive services, purchase Gift Certificates for family and friends, take time to share feedback regarding personal experience by leaving reviews, sign up for a monthly membership, sponsorships and collaborations for public events, purchase retail items for themselves and family members, word-of-mouth referrals, share social media content.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? This may sound a bit cliche but COVID-19 has reinforced my belief that my family is everything to me. Like so many other businesses I had to temporarily close my practice without any financial support. Like most other self-employed individuals in the industry of self-care services I felt like I fell through so many cracks, yet I remained prayerful that my life, my family members’ and friends’ lives would be sustained and so far they all have been. I utilized my time away from my business to analyze and regroup my practice and my home. While at home I decluttered my home, painted a few rooms, rested my mind and body, cooked several times a day, I enjoyed being a full-time stay-at-home mom again and it felt refreshing. I really needed the forced extended stay-cation that COVID-19 afforded. Since re-opening I found it necessary to condense my services and business hours for work to ensure a healthy balance for my business, my family and myself. I found out that I really didn’t enjoy being so busy as much as I do enjoy being able to be present with my family.

What makes your business special or unique? My ultimate goal is to use every ounce of my mind, my body and my power to help my guest transform; to EMERGE. Each session delivering the gift of a transformative skin treatment or a stress-busting massage; leaving my presence feeling renewed and then to repeat this everyday, every session, every time. I am an Internationally qualified therapist in Beauty Treatments via ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council), recognized in 33 countries. I am a life-time student so I am always seeking educational trainings and seminars, studying ingredients and learning modalities to enhance my repertoire of skills.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! Utilizing my online booking page on the web www.emergeskinandbody.com provides the easiest and fastest way to view my availability, book an appointment and view a detailed list of services. Being that I am the solo Esthetician and Massage Therapist at my practice I am unreachable whenever I am with a guest, I strive to respond promptly to all emails, messages and missed phone calls. Email: [email protected] Cellphone: 316-390-4509 Web: www.emergeskinandbody.com Facebook: Emerge Skin & Body Spa Instagram: Emergeskin.body 

Ravon Kirkendoll
ICT Baby Bump Studio

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. ICT Baby Bump Studio is an art studio for expecting moms. I help women feel confident & beautiful during their pregnancy by helping them embrace, identify and celebrate the beauty of their experience. I work with moms to identify designs that reflect their personality, style or theme. Chosen designs can be painted directly on the skin or on a mold of the body. Bump art is great for baby showers, photographs, or gender reveals! Not only do you have a unique experience but a finished product that can be used as nursery decor or a keepsake. I honestly love the work I get to do each and every day.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? Building awareness about my business has been the biggest challenge so far. My strength is not in marketing, so learning about effective ways to advertise has been challenging. However resources like Boot camps offered by the Hive Wichita, Lee Gray Business Coaching and online materials have helped me learn about Facebook ads and other possible strategies.

How can Wichita support you right now? Share, share, share! Wichita is a GREAT place to live, to flourish and to grow. We offer a lot of cool things here, my business is one them! Please share my business with anyone and everyone! You can also support us by buying gift certificates or booking an appointment for someone you know! We also have services which can be provided nationally. Thank you Wichita for your love and support!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? Stay flexible and innovative because pressures will always come to challenge your dreams and dedication. The Covid-19 virus has challenged the entire human race to be creative in meeting needs and new demands, it inspired me to think of ways to make my business more accessible to the public, to make my services more available to customers when and where they are available- not just during my normal business hours! From that experience, I extended PAMP Parties to include an online experience!

What makes your business special or unique? A healthy pregnancy is more than just about physical health. I offer prayer and resources for those needing to nourish their spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. We create an environment where families celebrate their little miracle through experiences that strengthen the bonds between those involved which may include: coworkers, friends and community members. In the spirit of bringing you together we offer PAMP parties in person and online! PAMP parties are paint events which feature a chosen design, your guest becomes the student painter, and the experience is captured with a mini photo shoot! Pregnancy can be full of emotions and challenges, and I am passionate about transforming lives through art and ministry.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! The best way to reach us is on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ictbabybumpstudio/ or by phone: (316) 512-1109.

Allicia Holland, Ashlee Norris, & Camille Scott
The Stylish Soirees Events & Design

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. The Stylish Soirees is more than an event planning service. We aim to provide magical moments for our clients. From weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events, no matter the capacity, we use our expertise to add the right touches of decor to fit the occasion. Operating for almost 5 years now, we take pride in offering our clients the “Pinterest-worthy” designs they deserve!

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? We have been blessed to work with clients from diverse backgrounds! As 3 African American women trying to make our mark in this industry, it has been hard to prove our capabilities beyond color. Even when people see the work, or hear the outstanding reviews, it’s unfortunate that opportunities are often times not given based on biases or assumptions. All we’ve done and will continue to do is prove people wrong through our work. Breaking down barriers and being thankful for the ones who entrust us with their special moments are all we care about now, and eventually, God will make the way for us to enter more doors.

How can Wichita support you right now? The biggest way Wichita can show support is by of course follow all of our social media handles. On Instagram @StylishICT and on Facebook at Stylish ICT. Share our posts, tell friends we’re accepting clients, and genuinely reach out to give an encouraging word. Gaining clients would of course be the biggest way to support right now, but we recognize everyone is still shifting to the new normal.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? The biggest takeaway that we gathered from COVID-19 was to slow down. Events have been cancelled, weddings have been postponed, and we were forced to look to one another and simply sit down. We’re believers, so we have faith that God is going to provide in some way, shape, or form and He kept his promise to never leave us during this time. We’ve had to be strong for our clients but they were comforted when they realized they had more time to add or change aspects of their special moments. COVID was truly bittersweet.

What makes your business special or unique? Our business can not thrive without the amazing collaborations we make with local vendors. There have been plenty of times where we could have tackled the job alone, but we love the fact that we’ve built relationships with some of Wichita’s most sought out vendors and therefore, provide discounted services. Some clients fear that their event can’t be what they’ve dreamed of because of price. We do everything we can to make magic happen, even if it’s a fraction of what they’ve envisioned. We could not do that without collaboration.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! Visit us at www.stylishict.com to book your free one-hour consultation or email us at [email protected]

Regina Miller
R. Miller Consulting LLC

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. R. Miller Consulting is an award winning business recognized by the Wichita Business Journal in 2018. We focus on training and strategizing to enhance your business success.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? I’m a very social consultant having to use Zoom was very challenging.

How can Wichita support you right now? Referrals are nice! I would like to network more when our city opens up.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? I’m optimistic and never stopped working on my clients future because I never give up. During covid19 I had to adjust to not being hands on.

What makes your business special or unique? My firm is small and able to devote one on one attention to each client. Their business success matters.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! Please call me at 316-207-5794 or visit my website www.rmillerconsulting.com where you can book a session.

Krystal Bradley
Lens & Snap Portrait Boutique

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Lens & Snap Portrait Boutique (also known as Lens & Snap) aims to provide a fun experience for families who value the art of photography, but don’t want to just simply be posed. Owner, Krystal Bradley, first started shooting photography with a focus on fashion in 2017. She has shot at two fashion shows, many fashion shoots, and has had her art featured at two art shows. Now, she specializes in family photography, and shoots fashion for fun. You can view some of her work at The Kansas African American Museum downtown until September 5th, 2020.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? My biggest challenge to date has been getting over fears of inadequacy. The comparison game is a ruthless one, that robs you of your peace. Yet, I struggled with it constantly, and was afraid to really put myself out there. I adapted to that challenge by reaching deep within myself and realizing the only person who could stop me from reaching my goals of being a successful business owner, is myself. Once I changed my mindset, I’ve been grinding ever since.

How can Wichita support you right now? Wichita can support me by letting people know that I exist (recommendations always help small businesses!), interacting with me on social media (this is free 😉) or by booking with me. Any amount of support is sincerely appreciated by me.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? For me, COVID-19 proved to me that I could adapt to anything. For example, instead of meeting in person, I can meet via video conference. No matter the circumstance, being resilient and believing in yourself can go a long way.

What makes your business special or unique? What makes Lens & Snap unique is that I am not just a shoot-and-burn photographer. It is common for clients to want digital files and there is nothing wrong with that. However, after I personally experienced all of my beloved photos on my phone disappearing because of a glitch while upgrading my operating system, it changed something within me that helped me see the true importance of having images that are printed. To ensure I offer the best service to my clients, I give them the opportunity to order albums, prints and wall art so they don’t have to experience the hurt I did after losing my digital images.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! The best way to reach me is by email at [email protected] or in my social media inboxes! (I try to answer either as quickly as possible, within my hours of operation).

Brandi Lane
OZ Events

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Oz Events specializes in race and event management. We have a branch which will conduct companies’ social media marketing platforms.

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What has been your biggest challenge to date as a business owner, and how did you learn or adapt to that challenge? My biggest challenge as a business owner has been learning the hidden questions to ask and communicate often. Early on, I would assume that people would just get it. WRONG, I needed to explain to everyone the plan in my head properly to ensure they were ready for the event. I learned to asked the questions with vendors, sponsors or even upset participants. There is always more to the story than what people share in the beginning. As a black, female business owner in a sport that does not reflect me, made me do more research, lock in facts and be present and allow my voice to be heard and not dismissed. I preach this to my two daughters, they will have to work harder in class than others, so allow the hard work to set in early to ensure they are use to working hard and giving more effort to be on top.

How can Wichita support you right now? Wichita can support Oz Events in two ways. The first way would be to know where your money goes when signing up for race or training. Oz Events host excellent events with thought, safety and fun put in place to ensure your happiness when crossing the finish line. An additional way to support Oz Events would be to consider us for your social media needs. If your company is on social media, we can manage your content properly.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last several months? COVID-19 hit us hard, as we are a gathering company. We have been unable to hold in-person races since February. We have turned two races into virtual runs and I had more support from the runners than I thought. Very little push back and so much kindness and words of encouragement. This has been my career for several years and realized how much the runners/walkers change from participants to friends who care. Our running community have missed each other.

What makes your business special or unique? Oz Events is special because I created this company out of a need to cater to all. Having been less than active, having been the one who said, “running is dumb, I will drive you where you need to go.” I wanted to create this company to fuel the fire we each have in us, but sometimes is overshadowed by our self doubt. I will be amazed at the first finisher and I will be equally amazed for the final finisher. Everyone deserves a cheerleader, I know from my past. If you do not have one, when you sign up for the race, you will know we stay until the end and value all.

Tell us the best way to reach you and/or how to book an appointment or buy your products! Oz Events, 145 N. Main, El Dorado, KS 67042 [email protected] or 316-633-5428

A Mom’s Guide to Pokémon Go in Wichita

 

In an effort to get my boys to go for a walk with me one evening last summer, I downloaded Pokémon Go on my phone. They were 6 and 8 and didn’t know very much about Pokémon, but they were excited to see what it was all about and keep searching for more Pokémon throughout our walk. None of us had any idea about how to play. We didn’t  know much to begin with, and have had a great time learning as we go!

When I told my family I was writing a post on Pokémon Go, they excitedly started telling me tips and tricks that would be helpful to progress in the game. While their tips may be very helpful to more advanced players, the focus of this post will be more geared toward basic need-to-know information. There are websites and YouTube channels dedicated to more advanced knowledge. Pokémon Go is pretty easy to figure out as you play, but it won’t be long before your child can figure out some ways to advance their Pokémon hunting skills. 

Getting Started

When you download the game on to your phone, it is completely free. You never have to spend a dime, and can have lots of fun. In order to not have to spend money to get the poké balls to throw at your targets, you need to find Poké Stops. There are Poké stops all over at public spaces. We have found Poké stops at parks, restaurants, historical markers, walking downtown, and churches.

Locally our favorite spots to hunt Pokémon is at Keeper of the Plains, walking downtown near the Farmer’s Market, and visiting the dinosaurs at Field Station:  Dinosaurs in Derby. We’ve traveled a fair amount around the State of Kansas and Oklahoma, and most tourist attractions have them too.

Once you arrive at the pokéstop, spin the wheel, and receive gifts. You may receive pokéballs, fruit, lures for Pokémon, or other items. 

You have to allow GPS tracking in order to play the game. It also will use some data and drain the battery a bit, but we have found that you can choose the low battery saver in your settings, and it will reduce the battery drain.

Catching Pokémon

When you see a Pokémon, you can choose one of three poke balls to throw at the Pokémon that you can see on the screen. They are Poké Ball, Great Ball, and Ultra Ball. Certain Pokémon are more difficult to catch, so you have to use the more valuable Great or Ultra balls. You then virtually fling the ball at the Pokémon and hope to catch it! You can use some of the fruit in order to help it to stay still or lose some of its powers to quickly run away.

Once you’ve caught it, it gets stored in the Pokédex. Most Pokémon have three different evolutions, and as they get increasingly more evolved, they become more difficult to beat during battles.

You will complete tasks along the way. Some of them require you to make friends. You can exchange your friend code with others and share gifts with them. Different Pokémon are located in every environment, so you will find certain Pokémon during rain storms, along the river, and in geographical regions.

Level Up Avancements

As you advance through the game, you will start getting new tasks to achieve, and you will get the opportunity to receive different items. Once you get to get to level 10 in Pokémon Go, you get to pick a team to be on, (Instinct-yellow, Mystic-Blue, and Valor-Red.) These teams become important as you progress in the game and battle in raids.

You can start to battle in Pokémon Gyms at level 10. Battles allow you to battle to acquire more powerful Pokémon and win coins. You can practice battling without risking losing any of your items. You can place your Pokémon in gyms as you are Pokéhunting, and you don’t have to do anything while they battle, except if you would like for it to be powered up, you can feed it fruit to keep it winning. After a battle has been completed, you will want to give it potions to help it regain strength. The more powerful the Pokémon, the better chance it has of winning battles and gaining you coins.

Hatching Eggs and Buddies

One of the fun parts of Pokémon Go is that your phone will track the distance you are walking while you are hunting. The greater the distance, the more eggs will hatch, and you will get free Pokémon to add to your collection. Also, as you advance through the game, you will be able to add a Buddy Pokémon who will gain candy that will eventually help it power up in the game. The greater the distance you walk, the more candy it receives. You can set your phone to Adventure Sync so that it will give you credit for all of the steps you take while the Pokémon Go app isn’t open and your eggs will hatch and buddies receive candy more quickly.

We have had a lot of fun on family adventures, and searching for Pokémon has added a little extra fun! My boys have been very motivated to go just a little bit further on evening walks or bike rides!

The goal of the game is simple: Gotta catch ’em all!

5 Easy Learning Activities for Summer Break

School’s out, but we can all use ideas for learning activities with items we have on hand through the summer too, right? These are some low (or zero) prep ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers entertained and learning – maybe without them even realizing it!

Letters & Sight Words

This first one is good for getting wiggles out while also practicing letters/numbers or sight words. For my kindergartner, I used the list of sight words from her school and wrote several of them in chalk on the driveway. For my 3 year old, I wrote several different letters that she’s working on recognizing. I call out the word or letter and tell them to bunny hop/skip/twirl/frog jump to it. Another way to switch it up is to attach the sight word or letter to a cone/stake and spread them out in your lawn – Then have them kick or throw a ball and try to hit whichever one you call out!

Play Dough Maze

An activity I’ve used while I get lunch made or laundry done is play dough mazes. As long as they can roll play dough ‘snakes’ they can do this one. They create a little maze/path and use a straw to blow a ping pong ball (or toy car or whatever lightweight object you have!) through the maze. They can race each other or try it with different objects and see which makes it through faster.

Moon Dough

A fun tactile activity is to make a batch of “moon dough” and use it to practice writing letters/numbers/their names/etc. Moon dough is just flour and vegetable or baby oil. I’ve seen 8 cups flour to 1 cup oil as a recipe, but you may need to adjust to get the right consistency (or if you want a smaller batch!) I put it on cookie sheets and added some sand toys and my girls loved playing with it outside!

Baking Soda & Vinegar

We also did a couple science or STEM activities using the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar. First I used halves of Easter eggs (but you can use any small container) and put a drop of food coloring in the bottom covered with a bit of baking soda. Next, fill little droppers or squeeze containers with vinegar and let your child reveal the surprise colors in each container. From there you can even add in a lesson about what colors mix together to make other colors!

The other activity with that mixture just requires a plastic water bottle and a balloon. You add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the deflated balloon – easiest if you have a funnel! – and then carefully put the balloon opening around the neck of the water bottle filled with vinegar without spilling any of the baking soda in the bottle. Let your child lift up the balloon causing all of the baking soda to fall into the bottle and then let go – The reaction will cause the balloon to ‘magically’ inflate! We ended up tying off the balloons after they were filled with gas and they ended up learning a little lesson about the weight of the gas inside that balloon being heavier than a balloon I’d blown up for them the day before.

The sweet thing about teaching your kids at home (or teaching kids in general) is their sense of wonder. You don’t need elaborate activities that require a bunch of planning for them to learn or to impress them. Use what you have and watch their eyes light up as they try something new!

6 Summer Fashion Trends for Moms

Sometimes I read magazines and see the fashion trends and think of how ridiculous I’d look wearing what the women on the pages are. Some of those trends are just a little bit far out there. I love having classic pieces in my wardrobe but it’s always fun to have some trendy pieces during the season to feel like that “cool mom” (insert laughing face emoji). There are so many fun, chic and affordable trends that are easy to find out there.  Here are some of my favorite wearable trends for this summer. 

Neon is up first. Find the neon color that works best for your complexion. I’m fair and blonde so neon yellows and oranges aren’t my jam but would look amazing on someone with darker hair and/or complexion. Neon blues, purples and pinks would compliment a fairer complexion. A simple t-shirt or tank is the easiest way to wear neon. I love wearing pops of neon in my jewelry as well! It’s an easy and less scary way to be in on the trends. Target is a great place to find inexpensive jewelry and if you’re looking for more quality pieces, Kendra Scott and Stella&Dot are always great.  

Bermuda shorts! I don’t know about you but I loathe pants in the summer. Dresses are fun but sometimes not practical when running after the littles. As an adult, it can be so hard to find shorts that aren’t short shorts. If that’s your style, more power to you. But I like to keep my booty under wraps so when I heard Bermuda shorts were in this summer, I did a happy dance. I’m super excited to rock some longer shorts with some fun graphic tees or tie dye which are coming up next on our trend list! 

I LOVE TIE DYE SO MUCH. I’m sorry if you don’t agree but I’m so so so so happy it’s back on trend. I’ve been obsessed with tie-dye since high school so seeing all the pretty tie-dye clothing out there makes my heart so happy. There are bright bold pieces and more subtle muted ones so there are tons of different options out there! Target and Old Navy are two of my favorite affordable places I’ve been finding tie dye but don’t forget to check out local boutiques like Apricot Lane and Bling. I love pairing a fun tie dye top with shorts and sandals for an easy laid back look. 

There are for sure trends that could get out of control. Unique sleeves, specifically puff and pleated, are big right now. The most wearable way to wear them is a tiny puff or pleat right at the shoulder. Another wearable option are all the fun and pretty boho tops out there now. A lot of them have the cute pleats at the elbow that flare out. Chic and fun at the same time! Free People is a popular brand that has tons of chic options for more unique trends like this one. 

If I want to feel cool, I throw on a great graphic tee. And luckily, they are HUGE HUGE HUGE on trend. They are EVERYWHERE! Apricot Lane always has a great selection of fun graphic tees with the cutest sayings. The Vacay Mode one right now is calling us all! Target is another great spot to snag some graphic tees. They have a huge selection from fun sayings to rock bands to your favorite cartoon princesses. Everyone needs a few graphic tees in their wardrobe. Dress them up with a skirt and some fun jewels or dress them down with some ripped jeans (always be prepared to tell someone that yes, you did pay for the holes to come with the jeans) and some sneakers. 

Who ever thought the classier version of your kid’s headbands would be a trend? Well, it is. Hair accessories are big right now. Oversized clips and barrettes to pull back the front of your hair and puffy headbands are in. My favorite local place to snag some hair clips for my daughter and myself is Avery & Grey. She has a rainbow of colors and so much glitter! Amazon has been a great place to find some cute patterned or embellished puffy headbands. This is definitely a trend that is wearable for any mom.

It’s so easy to find trends today especially with Instagram. There are lots of great influencers out there that show tons of trends at affordable prices and wearable for every day. Local boutiques like Apricot Lane always do a great job at having classic pieces with a fun mix of trendy. Walmart, Target and Old Navy are always great places with tons of different options for multiple trends and usually pretty affordable. And someone please help me because I can’t stop buying tie dye pieces. 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

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chocolate chip cookies

There is nothing that screams comfort food like chocolate chip cookies! They are especially delicious when they come straight from the oven. These cookies are my signature baked good, and I love being associated with this delicious treat that immediately puts a smile on your face when you bite into it. When I go to potlucks, family gatherings, and get-togethers with friends, most of the time it is expected that I will bring them. As silly as it sounds, my family and friends can taste the love that put in to them. 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Ever

  • 1/2 c. margarine, softened 
  • 1/2 c. butter flavored Crisco
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. Mexican vanilla
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine margarine, Crisco, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until fully combined.Don’t over mix. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Roll in to golf ball sized balls. Makes 3 dozen. Bake 8-9 minutes at 350. Remove from pan immediately and cool on cooling rack.

Through all of the years of baking these cookies, I have found a few helpful hints. 

Bake to your preference. My favorite is soft cookies, so I tend to underbake them a bit. I pull them out of the oven when the tops are barely browned. I take them out of the oven after 8 minutes, but you may need to make a batch to see how long it takes as ovens tend to vary. They will be pretty soft and doughy, but will continue to cook on the cooling rack. Some of my family members prefer them to be a little more crunchy, so I increase the bake time to 10 minutes.

The pan you bake them on makes a difference. I prefer to use a baking stone that is well seasoned, and has preheated with the oven. It will make the cookies very soft and gooey. I have also used a light colored baking sheet with parchment paper on it and they will bake through a little faster.

Mexican Vanilla is a game changer. Once you have baked with Mexican Vanilla, you will not want to use imitation vanilla again. You can purchase it online, or in Mexican Grocery stores. It is stronger than imitation vanilla, however, I tend to use the amount that recipes call for. If it is stronger than you prefer, you may want to cut the amount in half.

 

Make ahead and Freeze. I love to pull out freshly baked cookies for my family, and have started placing balls of dough in the freezer to pull out a few at a time when we just want enough for a treat. When frozen, they take a little longer to bake. Bake them at 350 for 11-12 minutes.

Mix it up! If you want to change it up a bit, you can use M & M’s or milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips. You could also swap out dried cranberries and white chocolate chips too. There is no limits on what you could do!

Experiment and make this recipe your own with all of your favorite add-in flavors. Your people will taste the love in them as well!

5 Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

I am a person who is always on the go and can appreciate a quick exercise or stretch throughout the day. With working full time at a desk, you might be surprised at the number of exercises that can be accomplished there. Think about all of the times you are waiting for a web page to load or something to print.  Next time, throw in a stretch or exercise during this time.  This will help keep your blood flowing and can also reduce stress levels.

My Top 5 Desk Exercises:

Tricep Dips

 

  • To do this, you will need a chair that doesn’t roll away from you. Move to the front edge of your chair and place your legs out in front of you, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Put your hands behind you and grasp the front edge of the chair with your fingers pointing forward, toward your desk.
  • Use your core and arms to lower your body, hold for a few seconds and then raise yourself up.
  • Repeat this 15 times.

Hamstring Curl

  • Stand behind your chair or next to your desk, and use the back of your chair or desk for support.
  • Bend your knee and try to keep your foot flexed.
  • Lower down and then come back up.
  • Do this 10 times and then repeat with the other side.

Elevated Push-Ups

  • While standing, put your hands on your desk and walk backwards to where you are at an angle against your desk.
  • Once in this position, lean in against the desk and push off.
  • Hold for a second and then lower down, like traditional push-ups, but elevated against your desk. You can also do this standing against a wall.
  • Repeat this 15 times.

Wall Sit

  • Stand with your back against the wall.
  • Slowly lower yourself into a seated position.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds at a time.

Light Aerobic Exercises

  • Depending on my attire for the day, you may catch me in a quick 60 second aerobic exercise where I complete jumping jacks or jog in place. Low impact movements are easy to incorporate when you just need to move. 
  • A favorite for several of us at the office are lunge walks through the hallway. Heading to the bathroom, try lunges to get there.
  • An easy thing to throw under your desk are a pair of hand weights, or you can use water bottles. You can easily incorporate some bicep curls in between calls!

If I have been on a long conference call or sitting in a meeting, these quick exercises will wake up my body and get me ready for what I need to focus on next.  I have also found some benefits from using a standing desk and a stability ball.  The standing desk I use allows my desk to be raised or lowered, which gives me the option to stand or sit while I work.  When I sit, I typically use a stability ball in place of a chair.  The number of exercises multiplies when you use a stability ball and  I have found the biggest benefit to be less tension in my lower back.  Find what works best for you at your desk!

My next challenge will be incorporating some yoga at my desk.  If you have some favorite exercises you are able to do at your desk, please share those with me!

 

17 Places in Wichita to Grab An Amazing Iced Coffee

In the middle of the afternoon (or 8 am in the summer…) hot coffee just won’t do. You need that pick-me-up plus some iced deliciousness to catapult you through your day. We’ve rounded up some creative choices from the ICT and surrounding areas to start you on an ICT Iced Coffee journey!  All of these local places have fantastic no-nonsense cold brews for you to try if traditional is the way you roll!  

Churn and Burn

TRY: Churn and Burn (Combines Coffee and housemade Ice Cream)

   Caramel Spice Toddy (Cold Brew + Maple Spice, Brown Sugar and Caramel Syrup)

Milk Options: Whole, Skim, Soy, Almond, Coconut, Keto 

Sweet Options: Sugar-free Syrups Caramel, Hazelnut,Vanilla, and Dark Chocolate

Cocoa Dolce East & Cocoa Dulce West

TRY: Cold Brew with Vanilla or Caramel and Cream

Affagato  (Hot Espresso over Gelato)

Extra Options: For an extra celebratory drink… Add Bailey’s or another spirit to your iced goodness! 

The Coffee House in Derby

TRY: Lavender Delight (Lavender, White Chocolate, and Coconut)

 Highlander (Caramel, Hazelnut, and Butterscotch)

Milk Options: 2%, skim, almond , oat, soy and coconut

Sweet Options: Just about any flavor option you could think of and a TON of sugar-free syrups including Samoa, Summer Breeze, and Peppermint Patty

Ecclesia Coffee Shop

TRY: Snickers (Mocha, Caramel, Hazelnut), 

Honey Rosemary Latte

Maui Mocha (Mocha, Lavendar, Cayenne) 

Milk Options: Skim, Soy, ½ & ½, Oat, Almond

Sweet Options: Brown Sugar, Honey

Espresso to Go Go

TRY: The list of creative flavors is off the charts here.  They have cardamom, which is one of my favorite coffee additions EVER. 

Vanilla Kerfuffle: Raw sugar, vanilla extract, three shots of espresso, local honey, ½ & ½, and a dollop of heavy cream.

Dark Syd Vicious:  7 shots.  Enough Said. 

Milk Options: Whole, Skim, Oat, Soy, ½ & ½, Heavy Whipping Cream 

Il Primo Espresso Cafe

TRY: Iced Thai Latte

Honey Lavender Latte

Any of the daily specials and staff creations!

Milk Options:  2%, SKim, ½ & ½, Almond, Coconut, Soy, Oat

Sweet Options: Take a walk on the wild side with Marshmallow or Sarsaparilla flavors! 

Jane’s Landing in Mulvane

TRY:Dirty Chai (Chai with Espresso)

 Iced caramel macchiato

Milk and Protein Options: Collagen, MCT oil, Macademia Nut Milk, Housemade Coconut or Hemp Milk

Sweet Options: Housemade Syrup or Local Honey

Kookaburra Coffee Shop

TRY: Seasonal Blackberry Honey Latte

Lavender Latte

Milk Options: Whole, almond, or oat.

Sweet Options: Sugar-free traditional flavors like vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel

Kung Fu Tea

TRY: Add some bubbly to your iced coffee!

Coffee + Tea + Boba

Milk Options: Almond, Coconut

Sweet Options: Choose your sweetness!  6 options from Zero sugar to Extra sweet

Leslie Coffee Co.

TRY: Overnight Cold Brew 

Single Origin, brewed hot and flash-chilled

Milk Options: Oat, Coconut, Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweet Options: Homemade Syrups including  Honey Lavender, Caramel Vanilla , Mocha, and Sweetened Condensed Milk

Little Lion Cafe 

TRY:  Main Squeeze (Seasonal: Coffee, tonic, grapefruit juice)  Juice + Coffee = Must try to believe 

Milk Options: Whole and Oat Milk

Sweet Options: Honey, Maple Syrup, Stevia

Milkfloat

TRY: Japanese Style Iced Coffee + Small Batch Vanilla Bean Syrup + Cream (slow brewed with ice water over 12 hours, removing acidity and bitterness)

Milk Options: Whole Milk, Rich Cream, Coconut, Almond Milk

Placeholder Coffee

TRY: Original Iced Coffee (On the dark side + Cream) 

Iced Caramel Latte

Milk Options: Whole Milk, Oat Milk

Sweet Options: Housemade Caramel Syrup

Reverie Coffee Roasters

TRY: Iced Dirty Chai Latte 

Cold Brew 

Milk Options: Whole, ½ & ½, Oat

Sweet Options: Sugar-Free Vanilla and Caramel

Rusted Rooster

TRY:   Iced Caramel Macchiato or one of the Monthly Specials

Milk Options: 2%, Skim, ½ & ½, Almond, Coconut, Soy

Want Coffee

TRY:  Grasshopper (Mint  + White Chocolate Syrup)

Tropical Rum Latte (Strawberry, Coconut, Butter Rum, & White Chocolate Syrups)

Milk Options: Almond, Soy, Skim, Half and Half, Whipped Cream

Watermark Books and Cafe

TRY: Madame Bovary (White Chocolate Raspberry)

 Iced Heart of Darkness (Espresso over darkest roast coffee)  This is also the winner of the Most Fun Ever to Order Award.  “I’d like an Iced Heart of Darkness, please.”

Guides + Resources

Things to Do in Wichita | JULY 2020

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Things to Do in Wichita this Month - July 2020 No matter the season, there are always fun things to in Wichita with kids (and...